Has the calculation of regional politics influenced the trial of Jamal Khashoggi's assassination?

 


The Biden administration has released an intelligence report on the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It is written in the light of Washington's Middle East policy. 

Traditionally, US Middle East policy has revolved around the security of the Saudi royal family and Israel. 

The importance of the Saudi royal family has increased in light of the growing geopolitical interests of the United States in the context of the growing influence of Russia, China and, to a lesser extent, Turkey in the Middle East. That is why Washington has not yet taken any sanctions against the Saudi prince.

According to the New York Times, the Biden administration published a report on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on February 26. 

The report cites the Saudi Crown Prince as the mastermind of the assassination, not the assassin. 

The names of the 3 people mentioned in the first report were not included in the report published in the second phase after the first published report was removed. All three are close to Saudi officials.

The Saudi government has said Khashoggi's assassination is a thing of the past. Besides, they have rejected the US report. This US report is a clear victory for the Saudi Crown Prince.

Because, first of all, his associates have been blamed for the murder by ‘acquitting’ him of the direct charge of murder.

 It is also clear that the Biden administration wants to rely on the Saudi prince, despite some temporary discomfort and disagreement.

 In other words, it is now almost impossible for the anti-Salman of the royal family, including Prince Naif, to return to politics. Second, to cancel Ankara's position on Khashoggi's assassination. 

Ankara's arrow is towards MBS from the beginning with Khashoggi's murder. Ankara is believed to have audio-video records of the Khashoggi killings. 

Although they were supplied to high-ranking officials in various Western countries, including the CIA, the West has remained steadfast in its policy towards the Saudi prince. 

So even a week after the release of the US report, Ankara is silent. This is because of Washington's position on the Khashoggi assassination. 

Ankara will negotiate a US-Saudi economic embargo on Syria, Libya and Turkey in the wake of the Khashoggi assassination.

Why did the Biden administration blame the Saudi prince's allies? The first objective is to pacify the US ‘progressives’. 

Second, Biden's stalemate with the Saudi prince was triggered by a settlement over the killings. In the face of continued pressure from a section of "US progressives", Biden said during the election campaign that the Saudi prince should be paid for imposing war on Yemen and killing Khashoggi.

The vote bank of these progressives against Trump's elite extremism has helped Biden not only as a vote but also from an intellectual place. Big theorists from Colonel West, Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis encouraged the masses to vote for Biden against Trump.

Trump-Biden have taken the same position on the question of Khashoggi's assassination in a broad sense. Trump directly sided with Bin Salman, and Biden is tactically seeking to oust the Saudi prince.

But Saudi-US relations do not stand alone in the light of the Yemen war and the Khashoggi killings. This relationship is deep and historic. 

The United States has ruled " Muslim world" through Saudi Arabia since World War II. Throughout the Cold War, the Saudi royal family united Muslims against socialist thought in the name of defending religion in the country against the Soviets.

 Therefore, not only for economic reasons but also for political reasons, realizing the undeniable importance of the Saudi royal family to the Americans, Mohammed bin Salman is taking advantages. 

The United States needs him for several reasons in the current changing political situation in the Middle East.

First, to deal with Iran. Iran has organized Shiite groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. They supplied weapons and went to war. 

Iran's actions did not do much harm to US interests in the Middle East but rather turned the Saudi bloc against Iran. It has strengthened the Shia-Sunni divide. 

This conflict will undoubtedly heal the treasury of the West and destroy the anti-Israels in the Middle East. So Mohammed bin Salman is valuable to Washington as the new leader of the Sunni world against Iran.

Second, the modernization of the Arab world. There are various pros and cons in this regard. Experts have defined modernity as Westernization in a broad sense. 

As such, the Saudi prince has accepted all the modernization of the West. Going beyond ‘medieval Islam’ to building ‘modern Islam’. 

This ‘modern capitalist Islam’ is not very different from Islam portrayed in the West.

Third, recognition of Israel. For a hundred years, the Arabs have been campaigning for the liberation of the Palestinians. They have fought many times. 

Social and cultural life has been formed around the war. Poems, novels and anti-colonial narratives have been composed. But Mohammed bin Salman has abandoned that tune. 

Many have pressured the Muslim-majority state to accept bilateral relations with Israel and a pocket state for the Palestinians.

Jamal Khashoggi's assassination will not damage the US-Saudi bilateral relationship. But the Americans' soft and "compromising" tone towards the Saudi prince over the assassination will undoubtedly affect the judiciary. 

The real question now is whether the Americans want the justice of Khashoggi's murder. Trump-Biden have taken the same position on the question of Khashoggi's assassination in a broad sense.

 Trump directly sided with Bin Salman, and Biden is tactically seeking to oust the Saudi prince.

 By resorting to this tactic, Biden is likely to send a message to critics of the Saudi monarchy and Democrats in the Middle East that the Saudi royal family, like Israel, will be above all criticism, regardless of murder, kidnapping, or repression.

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